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Xavier Rodas scores four times in Raiders 9-2 rout of Kennedy. Team has 19 goals in first two games.

POSTED September 18, 2019
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: There has been an awful lot to like about what the Torrington boys’ soccer team has done over their first two games of 2019.

Take the fact that they have scored 19 goals in just two games, thanks to a 10-1 season opener last Friday at Wolcott and a 9-2 win tonight in their home opener against Kennedy, led by a four- goal onslaught by Xavier Rodas (who now has seven in two games).

Of the nine goals we saw on this colder than normal September night, two in particular stuck out in a way that points out just how different this year’s team might be.

The Raiders took the lead before the music from the National Anthem wrapped up, or so it seemed, when junior Brayden Nietch (more on him in a minute) put a beautiful cross right to Rodas who dribbled for a step before finding the back of the net just :31 seconds in.

It was their next goal that caught your attention if you were paying attention.

The home team had just missed on six shots over the next five minutes but built up to the next goal with a magnificent display of passing back and forth at midfield which after at least 10 passes, led to a rush towards the Kennedy goal with senior Ben Sisic finding Rodas for his second goal of the night.

It was a thing of beauty to witness and is the things that really good teams do on a consistent basis. Pass up, pass back, move the ball side to side and then, attack.

If that continues, the Raiders offense will be something to watch this year.

The second goal of note was created again by Nietch on the left wing.

After getting the ball at about the 30-yard line, Nietch took a moment to size up the Kennedy defender who didn’t have a good angle on him from the start.

With a burst of speed, Nietch was gone like a wide receiver looking for the long pass from his quarterback and like a QB, delivered a perfect crossing pass to teammate Janos Herczeg who made it a 4-0 game with 12:23 left in the half.

It could have been 8-0 at that point because so many good things were happening on the offensive side of the ball.

Sisic had scored the third goal of the half on a nice effort that saw him collect his own rebound off a head ball and drive it home.

It was a five goal first half after Rodas connected with 6:34 left in the frame.

The Eagles had gotten on the board on a defensive mix up by the Raiders, one of the very few mistakes they made all night.

Their defense has not been tested yet this year but head coach Mike Fritch seemed confident that when needed, the starters on “D” should would be fine.

“They are playing 30-minutes right now because of the scores,” Fritch said. “While the starters have been in there, they haven’t given up a goal.”

The onslaught continued in the second half when John McLaughlin took a nice pass from Neyger Atariguana that split a pair of Kennedy defenders and left him alone to find the back of the net.

Rodas would score number four at the 34:47 mark with help from Sisic again and John Guazhco closed out the scoring with number nine, with just under 15 to play.

Redjan Cupid accounted for both Kennedy goals.

The Raiders host Sacred Heart on Friday before facing what should be their first real test of the season when the Naugatuck Greyhounds come to down next Monday night.

“This team has been waiting for this,” Fritch said. “They have taken their lumps at times over the last couple of years but are ready to make this a very special year.”

From the looks of things two games in, this could be a fun year to witness what this Raider boys’ soccer team has in mind.



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